Occasionally great feats can occur in short periods of time.
For example, Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence in just 17 days. Similarly and maybe even more impressive, Beyonce and the The-Dream composed the 2000s anthem “Single Ladies” in a mere twenty minutes. Kobe Bryant once dropped 81 points on Jalen Rose and the Raptors in 42 minutes of action and Usain Bolt became the world’s fastest man after running 200 meters in 9.58 seconds.
And yet, these all pale in comparison to fifth-year heavyweight Adam Coon’s performance Friday night at Cliff Keen Arena.
Satirical comparisons aside, in the first matchup of the night, Coon pinned his Wisconsin opponent, Ben Stone, within 40 seconds. From the start of the match, Coon’s intentions were clear.
“You could tell he was really, really looking for it,” said Michigan coach Joe McFarland. “Right away I turned to our 125-pounder and said, ‘You better be ready to go. This thing is not going seven minutes.’ ”
Coon was placed in the unfamiliar position of wrestling first in a dual-meet. The NCAA stipulates that in a dual-meet setting, both teams’ coaches must agree on which weight class to start the meet with. Traditionally they decide on 125 pounds. If there is no agreement, the starting weight class is drawn randomly and the other weight classes follow sequentially. This time around, heavyweight was drawn.
“That was different,” Coon said. “I haven’t started a match since sophomore year, and that was my only time starting one. It is definitely a different experience. I’m used to ending it, not starting things up, so there’s a little bit (of) different nerves there.”
Whatever nerves Coon had before the match were alleviated pretty quickly as he hip tossed Stone to the mat. Michigan fans in attendance weren’t in their seats long before Coon delivered the fall. In addition to firing up the crowd, Coon’s quick pin also helped galvanize his teammates in the 29-10 rout of the 23rd-ranked Badgers.
“That’s always good to start off like that,” said 184-pound senior Domenic Abounader, who also won his matchup in decisive fashion. “It gets the team going, gets some momentum going and gets some confidence going for our team.”
The momentum was evident, as the next four Wolverine wrestlers won their matches. This run included another first-round pin by 149-pound redshirt junior Malik Amine, who was quick to praise Coon.
“I love it,” Amine said. “I think Coon’s a pinner. I think he’s one of the best pinners in the country and he doesn’t get a lot of attention, but the kid’s a great wrestler.”
Coon improved to 17-0 on the season with an 8-0 record in dual-meets this season after the win on Friday night. While the goal from the outset has been to win a national championship both individually and as a team, excellent performances like Fridays are always welcomed by Coon.
“I thought I kept calm and just worked my way back into it,” he said. “When (Stone) started to move, I kind of set myself up for that throw. I was just calm and worked position.”
Though the match went well for Coon — the No. 2 heavyweight in the nation — there will undoubtedly be bigger tests ahead in both the Big Ten and NCAA Tournament, especially if he wants to put a ring on it.